Because the muse is a cruel-ass mistress, we want to hold onto her as tight as we can when we finally have the inspiration to write. However, it’s still necessary to take breaks during your writing session, and listening to a podcast can help take your mind off of your work while also avoiding the time suck that is television. The podcast revolution of the early 2010s means there’s an abundance of content out there to listen to. As someone who spends most of her commute to and from work listening to podcasts, I’ve listened to a lot of them. Here are the top seven I’ve found that are solid for when you need a writing break.
Last Podcast on the Left
I mentioned this podcast in another blog. It’s made my list again because it’s that good – show hosts Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel, and Marcus Parks cover all horrors, real and imaginary. Every episode is extensively researched and the chemistry between the show hosts creates a funny and intense dynamic. Some of my favorite topics are Jonestown, witches, chaos magic, Aileen Wuornos, Columbine, and the electric chair.
You’re Wrong About …
Helmed by hosts Michael Hobbs and Sarah Marshall, this podcast seeks to set the record straight on some of the most memorable events in the American zeitgeist, including the Satanic panic, Amy Fisher, the Challenger explosion, Enron, and more. This is the perfect podcast for anyone who loves learning about the events that shaped our politics, culture, and world views. The hosts are funny and insightful, and it’s easy to binge-listen to episode after episode.
Listening to Disgraceland is like listening to short stories about music’s greatest legends. The host, Jake Brennan’s writing and voice are hypnotic, and as he draws you in on tales about Amy Winehouse, Brian Jones, and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez, you’ll be able to picture each even perfectly. This is a great listen for musicophiles and history buffs alike. Some of my favorite episodes are about Sid Vicious, Marvin Gaye, and Motley Crue.
Think you know everything there is to know about Greek mythology? Think again. Mythunderstood expands on these myths, as co-host Paul breaks down some well known and some obscure myths for his co-host, Sarah. In this podcast, you’ll learn about the Titanomachy, Perseus, Hercules, and the Trojan War, just to name a few. If you need some myths to inspire your own world-building, this podcast should do the trick.
This Podcast Will Kill You
Hosted by a pair of scientists who are both named Erin, This Podcast Will Kill You covers diseases from the flu to malaria to scurvy. Not only do you learn about the biology of the virus and how it affects your body, but you also learn about the history surrounding it and its current standing in the world. This show is not for the faint of heart, but the hosts add just enough levity that the details on how scurvy breaks down the collagen in your body or the mortality rate of rabies don’t seem so scary.
Hollywood Crime Scene
Listening to the ladies at HCS is like hanging out with your best friends, talking about true crime, and eating your favorite comfort foods. Long-time friends and hosts Desi Jedeikin and Rachel Fisher talk about crime specifically related to Tinsel Town – everything from Natalie Wood to Bobby Brown to the Food Network. Their chemistry is amazing and they don’t hold back with their commentary about the crimes, food, sex, or other celebrities. They are also very honest about their lives, and that adds to the feeling of spending time with friends.
What Did You Do?!
There are a ton of true crime podcasts out there, but very few are helmed by black hosts. Charneil and Dee examine crimes, both famous and lesser-known, using their respective backgrounds in forensic psychology and social work. Their unique perspectives and humor make this podcast feel like you’re launching into deep conversation with your best friends about the correlation between mental health and crime. Some of my favorite episodes include Andrea Yates, Elliot Rodger, and the Covina massacre.
Hopefully one or all of these podcasts will inspire you to keep writing your current WIP or start a new one. I’m always looking for new podcasts to add to my already long list – what podcasts do you listen to?